- Breed name: Abyssinian cat
- Country of Origin: Ethiopia
- The time of the birth of the breed: 1882
- Weight: 4-7.5 kg
- Life expectancy: 12-15 years old
- Majesty and grace are combined with kindness, affectionate character.
- Gets along well with other pets, small children.
- Unusual color, wool with characteristic iridescences (ticking).
- Somewhat timid, afraid of sharp loud sounds.
- Are very mobile, having played too much, they are able to break something or harm themselves, for example, fall out of a window.
- They like to sit at a height, walk through closets, climb on shelves.
- Participate in all affairs and do not tolerate prolonged loneliness, the indifferent attitude of the owner.
- Easily get used to the tray and scratching post, does not spoil the furniture.
- Respect the rules set by man and are amenable to training.
- Clean, shed little, bathing is usually treated positively or at least without fear.
- Have good health, undemanding in nutrition and care.
Abyssinian cat is a shorthair breed of ancient origin. These are very intelligent animals, in which majestic habits, love for the owner and mobility are surprisingly combined. They are loyal, balanced, ready to give and receive attention. Pets have good health, are inexpensive in maintenance. Abyssines are suitable for families with children, active positive people.
History of the Abyssinian cat breed
Abyssinian cats have become popular for a long time, but researchers have not been able to find out the exact geographical region and time of the breed's origin. Several main versions have been formulated. The first one stated that the animals first came to Europe after the war of England with Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in 1868, from where they originated. As the main proof, supporters of the theory used an English book of the second half of the XIX century with a lithograph of a cat named Zulu, which was acquired by Captain Barrett-Lenard after the end of the military campaign. Despite the external similarity with modern representatives of the breed, there is no convincing evidence that the depicted cat was really an Abyssinian.
Other researchers considered that the animals had Egyptian roots, since ancient figurines depicted similar pets. Perhaps they were worshipped by one of the most mysterious civilizations in the world. At the same time, genetic analysis conducted by scientists showed that these cats have always been closely related to animals that lived on the coast of the Indian Ocean. In any case, the ancient line of the breed was considered extinct. Modern Abyssinian cats first appeared on the show in the UK in 1871, taking third place among 170 other breeds.
A detailed description of these animals was made in 1882, the original standard was formed by 1889, and official recognition with entry into the stud book was expected for the breed only in 1896. In the early 1900s, the first representatives came to America, which in the future ensured the survival of the breed. The Second World War almost completely wiped out the Abyssinian cats from the European continent – there are only about a dozen individuals left in the UK. American specimens helped to restore the population.
Due to the changes that cats in the USA had to undergo, after the war it was necessary to recognize the existence of two branches that have survived to the present moment: American and European. These animals managed to gain worldwide fame, although they remained exotic in the CIS. According to the CFA, Abyssinian cats ranked second in the popularity rating of the USA and Europe among shorthair breeds in 2012.
Video: Abyssinian cat
Appearance of the Abyssinian cat
Abyssinian cats are strong and flexible, have an average body size. Well-developed muscles and long paws allow animals to jump a distance 6 times their own length. Cats are larger than cats, but sexual demorphism is not as pronounced as in other breeds. Usually the weight is in the range of 3-4.5 kg. Abyssinians have a chiseled silhouette, a harmonious physique, move incredibly gracefully, which resembles miniature cougars. The American line has a more elegant and light build than the European one.
Proportional, has a wedge-shaped shape without pronounced flat surfaces or sharp points. The nape line gently merges with the neck. The nose has an average length, straight, connected to the forehead by a smooth line. The chin is developed, firm, rounded. The muzzle is well marked, corresponds to the soft contours of the head. Adult males may have pronounced cheeks. Pinch, a pointed muzzle with a "fox" expression are considered unacceptable.
The eyes of the Abyssinian cat are large, almond-shaped with a fairly wide landing at a slight angle. An oriental or absolutely circular incision is unacceptable. Shining eyes can be painted in any shade, from amber to green. They have a black outline regardless of the suit. In the presence of a silver color, a green shade of the eyes is desirable. This zone always has a narrow light halo to match the undercoat. Dark lines in the corners of the eyes visually continue the outlines of the upper eyelid.
Large, set wide, slightly tilted forward, which gives the cat a wary look. The ears are wide at the base, and narrowed and rounded towards the tips. The skin is covered with very short hair with a special bald spot in the center (the so-called "thumbprint"). Inside the ear may have woolen brushes.
The neck of the Abyssinian cat is elegant, rather long.
Moderately elongated, flexible, with harmonious proportions. The body is medium-sized, the musculature is developed, but not coarse. The chest is rounded, the back is slightly bent, but the hips should not be in an understated position.
Legs and paws
Legs are strong, long and thin. Oval paws have small, well-pressed fingers, which gives the impression that the cat stretched out on tiptoe.
The tail of the Abyssinian cat is thin, long, and narrows significantly towards the end.
The cover is short and elastic, with a magnificent shine and characteristic ticking tints. The silky coat is thick and soft, with a small undercoat, fits snugly to the body. On the back, the cover is longer, but it is almost imperceptible.
An important feature of the breed is a warm saturated color with an unusual overflow and without a pattern. This is possible thanks to ticking, a phenomenon in which each coat has stripes of light and dark shades (from 2 to 5). The soles of the hind legs, the back, the tip of the tail have a slightly darker color than the rest of the body, and the inner surfaces of the legs, abdomen and chest are lighter. Ticking is distributed fairly evenly, pronounced light areas are allowed only on the chin, lips, around the nose. 4 colors of the Abyssinian cat are generally recognized:
- wild (ruddy) – brown-orange shade;
- sorel – redder cats with a reddish or chestnut tint;
- blue – grayish-blue suit with a red tone;
- fawn – cream reddish color.
Also recognized are the variants of the listed colors "on silver", when the cat has a silvery-white, and not a warm creamy tone of the undercoat. Purple and chocolate shades are not considered the norm in all feline systems.
Too narrow and elongated or excessively short round head, pronounced stripes on the legs, residual pattern on the body, pronounced cheeks. A significant disadvantage is a very light undercoat, insufficient ticking, round eyes, small ears. Animals with a flabby body, shortened legs, an insufficiently long tail, without thin edging on the eyelids will not be able to get high marks on the show.
Siamese type physique, too light areas on the coat, an unbroken necklace.
Photo of an Abyssinian cat
Character of Abyssinian cats
Abyssinian cats are very active animals that strive to learn about the world around them. Their playfulness persists throughout life. Despite the predatory wild appearance, these cats are balanced, intelligent and intelligent, very affectionate to family members. Abyssinians do not show aggression, they usually do not release their claws during games, they are patient with children. Cats constantly patrol their territory in search of interesting activities, like to climb as high as possible for observation – provide them with this opportunity.
Representatives of the breed are distinguished by neatness and cleanliness, respect the rules established by the owner: they will not tear up furniture (especially if there is a scratching post), ride on curtains and knock down pots of flowers. But it is better to clean up sharp, especially fragile objects, close the windows on the upper floors or protect them with a special grid – in the heat of the game, the cat can harm itself or make a mess.
Abyssinian cats have an independent character, a sense of dignity, so they will not tolerate disrespectful treatment, they will not constantly sit on their hands. They are a bit like dogs in character: they are loyal, they play with pleasure, bringing objects thrown by the owner. Abyssinian cats are good parents, so they do not need help in childbirth, feeding or raising offspring. Smart, elegant pets require human attention, contact with the owner. Without this, the animal can become depressed and get sick.
Care and maintenance
Abyssinians are unpretentious, but their health needs to be paid attention so that the pet gets sick less often and lives for a long time.
Getting to know your new home
When bringing a kitten into the house, remember that he is very timid, so you should introduce him to the outside world, family members, pets slowly. Pay attention to him, but do not overload him with games so that the baby has time to get stronger and get used to the new environment. The animal independently explores the house, it is worth providing him with a separate comfortable couch, a scratching post.
Abyssinian cats are easily accustomed to a tray with natural filler or to a toilet bowl. If you teach your pet to water procedures from a tender age, in the future there will be no problems with bathing at all – most of the breed likes to swim. It is advisable not to wash the animal too often, just once during the molting period. At the same time, use a special shampoo for shorthair cats (without conditioner). After bathing, wipe the pet thoroughly and let it dry.
Periodically it is worth brushing the Abyssinian cat's teeth, as it is prone to plaque and stone formation. Special attention should be paid to the cleanliness of the ears.
A short dense fur coat practically does not need care. It is enough to walk through the wool with a special brush once a week. Molting takes place quickly, does not cause any particular inconvenience.
Abyssinians will willingly eat special food or food of your preparation. In the latter case, it is worth consulting with a veterinarian who will prescribe additional vitamins, dietary supplements. Pay a little attention to the diet so as not to overfeed the animal. At the age of one year, three meals a day should be provided with food for kittens. It is advisable to use the same brands with which the breeder fed the babies. Upon reaching the age of one year, you can switch to products for adult cats, giving out a slightly larger portion twice a day.
It is desirable to cook meat and fish, to give raw products only being sure of their quality and after cutting into small pieces. Many Abyssinian cats enjoy eating fruits and vegetables – over time you will understand which ones your pet prefers.
Health and diseases of the Abyssinian cat
In general, Abyssinian cats are healthy, cheerful animals. If diseases do occur, they are more often associated with poor nutrition or genetic problems. Thus, retinopathy of the retina develops in some lines, due to which the Abyssinian cat goes completely blind by the age of 5. This disease can be detected in a kitten in advance and responsible breeders weed out such individuals. Rarely, anemia can develop with age due to a lack of pyruvate kinase. Infrequently, but renal amyloidosis occurs, leading to serious consequences for the pet's health. The breed is predisposed to hip dysplasia, dislocations of the kneecap. You should brush your teeth regularly, monitor the absence of "licking". Periodically bring the Abyssinian cat to a preventive appointment with a veterinarian and do not self-medicate. With proper care, the animal will live 15-20 years.
How to choose a kitten
Contact only well-known breeders or large nurseries. Take a kitten should not be earlier than at the age of three months. By this time, the seller manages to give the Abyssinian several vaccinations, to accustom him to the tray, to transfer him to self-catering. In addition, the baby will get stronger psychologically, will be ready to move to a new home. Taking the animal at an earlier age, you seriously risk its physical and emotional health.
Make sure that the breeder issues all medical certificates for the animal, a pedigree in which the absence of closely related crosses will be recorded. The kitten should be playful, contact, not too timid. Shiny fur, confident gait, absence of palpable hernias on the abdomen, discharge from the eyes or ears are the main signs of a healthy Abyssinian cat.
Photos of kittens of the Abyssinian cat
How much does an Abyssinian cat cost
The price of an Abyssinian cat ranges from $150-$300. Individuals with a particularly prestigious pedigree, outstanding data can cost more. Good kennels allow you to choose a kitten for a show or just a home companion. In the second case, it is possible to sell "under castration". Such a pet will cost less, and the condition of mandatory castration means that the breeder considers the individual unsuitable for the development of the breed, although this does not affect the character in any way.